TIME TO GO ROAD RACING AT WATKINS GLEN
Watkins Glen International Advance Notes
Race: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 14
Track: Watkins Glen International (2.45-mile road course)
Location: Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Follow EGR on Twitter: Continue to follow Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on their official team Twitter page. Follow the No. 1 and No. 42 teams throughout the 2011 season @EGRTeams.
Sprint Summer Showdown: The Sprint Summer Showdown presented by the HTC EVO 3D is putting $3 million on the line for fans, drivers and driver charities. Any driver that wins an NSCS race between Indianapolis and Bristol will qualify to win $2 million if he is able to win the race at Atlanta during Labor Day weekend ($1 million for the driver, $1 million for their charity). One lucky fan paired with the winning driver also has a chance to win $1 million. Visit www.sprint.com/speed for more information.
Jamie McMurray and No. 1 McDonald’s Team
Watkins Glen History: This weekend marks McMurray’s ninth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Watkins Glen International. In his eight previous starts at the road course, McMurray has one top-five, two top-10s and has completed 95.4% of the laps run since 2003 (689 of 722). His best finish at Watkins Glen came in 2006 when he took the checked flag in third, and his best start came last season when he rolled off the grid in second. McMurray’s average start in the Finger Lakes region is 17.6, while his average finish is 18.4. He has been running at the finish in seven of his eight career starts at The Glen, with his only DNF coming in the 2009 event due to an engine failure.
On The Road Again: McMurray has made 17 NSCS starts at road courses (Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway) since 2003. In those 17 starts, he has scored two top-fives, three top-10s and 1 pole. He has run 1683 laps, leading 42 of them, and completed more than 3,600 miles of competition. He has finished on the lead lap in 14 of the 17 races and has an average start and finish of 16.0 and 17.6 respectively.
Golden Arches Return: McMurray and the No. 1 team will welcome back the familiar red, black and gold colors of McDonald’s this weekend when the NSCS returns to Watkins Glen International. The Golden Arches have already seen action in eight races so far this season and will appear five more times in 2011 after this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen. Following the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, McDonald’s will return Labor Day weekend for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Autograph Session at McDonald’s Fan Zone: On Sunday, August 14, the “McDonald’s Kids’ Zone” will play host to an autograph session with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray at 9:30 AM. Access to the “McDonald’s Kids’ Zone”, located inside the track near turn three, is always at no charge to ticket holders and features giant Inflatables, age appropriate games, character appearances and prizes. Hours of operation for the McDonald’s Kids’ Zone change daily and are posted at www.TheGlen.com. Tickets will be offered to the first 100 guests to have the opportunity to get an autograph from McMurray.
Pocono Recap: McMurray and crew spent the majority of both practice sessions on Friday working on race set ups and felt that they had a car that would be very competitive over long runs during Sunday’s 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway. The Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet ran solidly in the top-20 through much of the early stages of the 200 lap event. On lap 87, the team would have to serve a pit road penalty for an equipment violation and would fall one lap down to the leaders. McMurray battled to gain positions and was able to take advantage of two timely cautions to get back on the lead lap and ultimately bring the car home in 22nd-place.
In The Points: After his 22nd-place finish at Pocono Raceway, McMurray and the No. 1 team picked up one position to move into 27th in the NSCS driver standings. McMurray is now 178 points out of the coveted 10th-place cutoff for the chase. The No. 1 team is also 85 points out of 20th and wild card contention.
Visit McDonald’s: Hungry? Make a trip to one of the many McDonald’s locations within minutes of Watkins Glen International. Go grab some of your favorite menu items at one of the locations found at 515 E 4th St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.
Juan Pablo Montoya and No. 42 Target Team
Montoya will have a media availability in the Media Center on Friday, August 12th at 10:00 AM ET.
Watkins Glen Background: Montoya will be making his fifth career start at Watkins Glen International this weekend. Last season he achieved personal bests in both qualifying and the race when he started third and led 74 of 90 laps en route to his first win at the road course in New York. Including his victory in 2010, Montoya has two top-fives, three top-10s and has completed 342 of 360 laps (95%) at WGI. His average start in the Finger Lakes region is 14.0 and his average finish is 12.5. Montoya has finished on the lead lap in three of his four starts and only has one DNF after being caught up in an incident during the 2007 edition of the race.
Left and Right: Montoya has made nine career road course starts in the NSCS, at Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway. He has tallied two wins (2007-Infineon Raceway, 2010-Watkins Glen), three top-fives and seven top-10s. While his average start is 17.4 in those races, his average finish is 10.6. He has been running at the finish in eight of the nine races and took the checkered flag on the lead lap in each of those finishes. Montoya has raced for 897 laps at WGI and Infineon since 2007, and if he completes 24 laps this weekend he will reach the 2000-mile mark for his career at road courses (Currently at 1942.4 miles).
Top-Three: Montoya currently finds himself inside the top-three in multiple statistical categories at Watkins Glen. When looking at the past six races at WGI, he leads the “Quality Passes” category with 109, he is second in “Laps Led”, “Driver Rating”, “Speed in Traffic” and “Average Running Position” and ranks third in “Fastest Late in a Run” and “Green Flag Speed”. Only two drivers can boast better numbers in any of those categories, Tony Stewart (five) and Marcos Ambrose (One).
TUMS on the Quarter Panel: This weekend, the No. 42 Target Chevrolet will feature TUMS on its quarter panels. TUMS is the #1 antacid America relies on to get past heartburn quickly and get on with life. And now, there are even more TUMS choices than ever – from the strongest TUMS ever, “TUMS Ultra”, to “TUMS Kids” for even the smallest bellies. Great-tasting, chewable TUMS go straight to the heartburn to neutralize acid fast.
Tricky Triangle Review: On race day, teams prepared for 500-miles with a threat of rain moving into the area. The green flag waved and within 10 laps, Montoya reported a handling problem which would plague the race car for the majority of the race. Just past the halfway point, rain showers caused the red flag to be displayed for approximately two hours. When teams returned to racing, Montoya restarted in 21st and battled for position until an on-track incident caused him to make contact with another car and the wall. The Target Chevrolet sustained significant damage to the right front fender and spent two laps on pit road for repairs. Montoya finished the race and was credited with 32nd-place.
In the Points: After his 32nd-place finish at Pocono Raceway, Montoya and the No. 42 team fell one spot to 21st in the NSCS standings. Montoya is now 102 points out of the coveted 10th-position and cutoff for the “Chase for the Sprint Cup”. The No. 42 team is nine points out of wild card contention.
NY Native: Competition Director Steve Hmiel hails from Syracuse, north east of Watkins Glen. Hmiel joined the team in 2007 with over 30 years of NASCAR experience. He has been winning races and championships with some of the most recognized teams in the business including Petty Enterprises, Roush-Fenway Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1012. The No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet team has elected to bring chassis number #1012 to Watkins Glen International this weekend. This chassis was most recently run at Infineon in June when McMurray drove to a 15th-place finish. This car also ran at both road course races in 2010, coming home 15th at Infineon and sixth at Watkins Glen.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #1014. The No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1014 to Watkins Glen International for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. Montoya used this chassis back at Infineon in June where he was running up front until an on-track incident caused him to finish 22nd. The Target team also ran this car in both road course races last season when Montoya went to Victory Lane for the first time at Watkins Glen International in August, and drove it to a 10th–place finish at Infineon.